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Today I did my first really hard ride since my recovery from my vertigo incident in December. I rode at a fast tempo standing up to pedal of an hour, which kept my heart rate at a brisk aerobic pace (for me) of 120. Then I did a bunch of fast sprints standing, followed by on-bike strength training and a cooldown. It all felt great.

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Tempo, mostly standing for an hour
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Heart Rate Fluctuations during standing sprints

For motivation I signed up for the “vertical K”, part of the Broken Arrow Skyrace series, at Palisades Tahoe in June. This is about a 7 km running race with about a km of vertical, hence the term vertical K. I’ll be power hiking the uphill sections. There are only a couple of short downhills, and I can get away with running on them. I’ll be interested to see how I do compared to others my age. Last year’s overall winner finished in just over 45 minutes, I’ll probably take more than twice that (last year’s fastest finisher my age took 89 minutes). But the main purpose is to have fun and motivate myself to hike faster uphill. I’m pretty sure the course closely matches the first few miles of the Western states 100 ultra course. The other thing that is cool for me is I get to ride the gondola back down. Lots of up, with minimal down, is best to not beat up my joints.

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There can still be some snow on the course in June, I’ll bring microspikes for my shoes in case. And I’ll definitely need my poles.